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Harvard economics professor George Borjas wrote in a recent blog that he's seeing a shift in the narrative used by immigration expansionists to support an increase in legal immigration levels, focusing less on the benefits of mass immigration on the economy and more on the negative impacts of reducing immigration. Borjas, who has authored a number of key studies on the impact of mass immigration on the wages of native-born workers for the Center for Immigration Studies, has been described by the Wall Street Journal as "America’s leading immigration economist".

Borjas wrote that the immigration expansionists who claimed that immigrants only do jobs "Americans won’t do" now say that reduced immigration forces employers to raise wages for American workers, which will cause prices to rise and inflation. For years, these economists have argued that mass immigration does not adversely affect the wages of American workers, but their changing narrative contradicts that argument.

Borjas first referenced a Washington Post article that reported economists claiming that deporting more people back to their home countries will harm that country by increasing workers and driving down wages.

More returnees means lower wages for everybody in blue-collar industries such as construction and automobile manufacturing, where competition for jobs is likely to increase, economists say.

Another article by the Bangor Daily News reported that businesses would be forced to raise wages in order to attract American workers if immigration levels are reduced.

Because of new limits on the seasonal worker visa program, restaurants, hotels and other tourist-centered operations are scrambling to find seasonal employees. Until Congress opens the door to more H-2B foreign workers…Bar Harbor area employers are enticing workers in other ways. Higher wages are part of the solution.

A Bloomberg article focused on several companies who had to increase wages for low-skilled labor to find and retain workers.

Patrick Harker, president of the Philadelphia Fed, became the latest policy maker to call attention to the struggles of companies in finding low-skilled labor…The Chicago Fed said one manufacturing firm raised wages 10 percent to attract better applicants and improve retention of unskilled workers. A freight trucking firm in Cleveland reported granting raises of almost 8 percent in an attempt to retain workers.

Read Borjas’ full article here.

low-skilled workers
Unnecessary Worker Visas
wages

Updated: Mon, Jun 19th 2017 @ 12:53pm EDT